Now is the time for Host Families to show their gratitude for their Au Pairs who have stepped up during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have heard a lot of stories about Au Pairs going above and beyond for their Host Family. Au Pairs have been taking over teaching their host children, keeping their host children busy while parents work from home, and bringing normalcy and consistency to an abnormal time. Now is the time to express gratitude to these wonderful Au Pairs who have risen to the occasion! Here are some ideas on how Host Families can express their gratitude to their Au Pairs.
How to Say Thank You Every Day
You can thank your Au Pair with words every time you see something that they are doing well or when they have done something extraordinary. As a Placement Coordinator I would sometimes hear Au Pairs say that they didn’t know how much their Host Family appreciated them and a Host Family would tell me that they were thankful but I would find out that some communication was lacking in the gratitude department on both sides. Positive feedback and communication is so helpful and motivates everyone to do well. But how do you give a thank you that will be meaningful and heartfelt
- Use the Au Pair’s name.
- Be specific about what they did that was helpful.
- Say why it was helpful and appreciated.
Example: Anna, Thank you for coloring with the kids today. It kept them quiet and happy while I was on a conference call, I really appreciate that you did that so I could focus on work.
Cultural Exchange Through the Art of Gift Giving
Here are some ideas for special gifts for your Au Pair during this unprecedented time. Keep in mind when your placement will be ending with your Au Pair and when they will be returning home so they can use the gift if necessary and if they can take the gift home with them. For example, a gift card or service could be difficult to use if businesses are still closed and an Au Pair will be returning home before certain businesses are open. Make sure gifts can be taken home with the Au Pair in their luggage as well, you don’t want them to have to leave a keepsake behind because it is difficult to pack or will break easily on an international flight.
- Art and Crafts made by your kids for the Au Pair, like a thank you card
- Write your Au Pair a letter expressing how grateful you are so they can keep it forever
- Write your Au Pair’s parents a letter to mail or email letting them know how much you appreciate their child
- A photo album with photos of their time with your family
- Friendship bracelets
- Throw a celebration for your Au Pair and invite her friends and your friends and family so everyone can appreciate all of the wonderful things she has done for your Family
- Spa gift card-manicure, pedicure, massage, hair cut
- Spa gift basket-bath bombs or bubble bath, nail care kit, skincare items
- Book a night or weekend for your Au Pair in a local hotel for some alone time
- A gift card to their favorite store
- A gift card to a movie theater
- Help your Au Pair plan a trip to see American sights they have been itching to see
- Help pay for transportation, hotel or Air BNB, or ticket to an amusement park or activity
- Travel or airline gift cards
- Offer additional paid time off or expedite their 2 weeks of paid vacation so they can take time off
- Help them travel to their home country to see their family
- Personalized backpack or weekend bag to take on a trip
- Make their favorite meal from your repertoire or a favorite meal from their home country
- A gift card to their favorite restaurant or a restaurant they have wanted to try but haven’t yet
- A gift basket of their favorite snacks or food items
Gifting From the Heart
These are all great gift ideas that are sure to surprise your Au Pair and make them feel loved and appreciated for all of their hard work. Don’t be afraid to get creative and think outside the box. No matter what gift you choose to give it should always come from your heart. Gifts from the heart are always the most meaningful and your Au Pair will cherish it and the memories of their time with you forever.